Apple has sent invites out to members of the press and other guests for a March 25 “special event.” The tagline and animation on the invitation strongly suggest that the company’s long-rumored streaming TV service will take center stage.
The invitation is accompanied by the words “it’s show time.” Apple used the same tagline in 2006 for an event at which it unveiled its then-future Apple TV product. TechCrunch editor Matthew Panzarino tweeted out a GIF of the animation: it is a countdown throwback to old films and film production, again suggesting that video content be a focus for the event.
Apple has been courting Hollywood writers and other talent from its rapidly expanding Culver City, Calif., offices in the Los Angeles area. The company is reportedly seeking family-friendly content and has acquired an enormous amount of content from established entertainers. For example, it will reboot Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stores, distribute a film from the Oscar-winning director of La La Land, launch a new series from Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showrunner Ronald D. Moore, and run a series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series of stories. It also has a deal of some sort with Oprah Winfrey.
TV may not be the only thing on tap; Apple is rumored to be working on a premium magazine and news subscription service built on its acquisition of Texture. That service might make an appearance on March 25 as well.
The event will be held at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new campus in Silicon Valley. The theater was first publicly used in September 2017 for the announcement of the iPhone X and other products. Since then, Apple has held events at other locations, like a school in Chicago or an arts center on Brooklyn. But the theater in California has been a recurring platform for announcements.
Pictured below: The Steve Jobs Theater on the day of its first use for a public event on September 12, 2017.
This event will occur almost exactly a year after the March 27, 2018, event where Apple announced the current-generation, base iPad model. That model has the A10 processor—the same used in the iPhone 7—and starts at $ 329. That system-on-a-chip lacks some flagship features of other modern iOS devices, like the Neural Engine silicon designed to drive machine-learning features. The 2018 iPad also supported the Apple Pencil, and Apple positioned it as a device for education.
This year, a developer found evidence of new iPad models in code for the iOS 12.2 developer beta, as well as a report in Bloomberg citing sources close to Apple saying that Apple plans to update the iPad this year with a faster processor and a 10-inch screen. The report also claimed that Apple will finally introduce a new version of the iPad mini, which has not been updated since 2015. Other reports across the Web indicated that Apple may also introduce an updated iPod touch.
Any of those products could make an appearance at the March 25 event. But it is also possible the event will zero in solely on software and services—a growing focus for the company. The event will be livestreamed, and Ars will also cover it live starting at 10am PDT/1pm EDT.